Andromeda: Cultures: The Commonwealth

The Systems Commonwealth was 10,000 years old and had 1,247,000 member worlds before the Nietzscheans ended it with the war. It was founded in the Andromeda galaxy by the Vedrans.

This is not really a Culture Review (and therefore there is no Race Ratings Chart) since the Commonwealth is a mixture of different cultures (some of which have their own review page).

Once the Vedrans developed interstellar travel (with the invention of the slipstream drive) this once aggressive race conquered and pillaged most of the systems they encountered, but gradually they learned that trade and diplomatic relations with other worlds would be more profitable.

Eventually they founded the Vedran Empire and a few hundred years later a number of democratic reforms were made and the Systems Commonwealth was formed. This gradually grew (over thousands of years), into a Democracy spanning three galaxies with more than a million member worlds.

The presence of humans in the Commonwealth was the direct result of actions by the Perseids.

Robert Hewitt Wolfe tells us, “By the time we meet the Systems Commonwealth, they’ve just been through what they call the Twelve Centuries of Peace, in which they were so big and powerful that no one wanted to fight them for twelve hundred years. However, that ended a few years before the show starts with the arrival of the Magog.

This is where Dylan Hunt earned his stripes. He fought a number of campaigns against the marauding murderers until they were eventually forced to enter negotiations with the Commonwealth and a Peace Treaty was forged.

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The Commonwealth was now complete, peace could once again spread through the alliance of worlds… or so they thought!

The Nietzscheans were furious! They could not appreciate the benefits of a treaty with the Magog and wanted revenge for all the suffering they had inflicted on the numerous races that had suffered. The Nietzscheans plotted to overthrow the Commonwealth (no mean feat with more than a million member worlds), and it was this first battle in which we saw the Andromeda Ascendant become trapped in time – it was ambushed by thousands of Nietzschean ships.

The Nietzschean’s then went off to fight a bloody and costly war against the Commonwealth. They had plotted and schemed years before and were more than able to take them on.

The last great battle of the war was fought at a Nebula called WhitchHead. The remnants of the High Guard Fleet (approximately 100 ships) were due to be ambushed by a Nietzschean Armada of 1500 ships. The Nietzscheans expected a total victory and as a result, outright control of the Systems Commonwealth (and all the spoils of war that would bring).

Unfortunately for them, the Andromeda Ascendant returned (300 years too late) to change things – confused, you will be! The Andromeda and it’s crew managed to accidentally jump back 300 years to just before the great battle and Harper was able to fabricate an awesome weapon that would ignite part of the nebula and destroy 1000 of the Nietzschean ships.

The Andromeda departed before the battle commenced (they sort of ran out of time) and eventually the High Guard forces were completely destroyed, but not before they had inflicted heavy casualties on the Nietzschean fleet, particularly on the ships of the ruling Drago Katsoff Pride who were left vulnerable.  The Jaguar Pride and their allies launched a surprise attack on their leaders in a late coupe and the ensuing civil war shattered the entire Nietzschean alliance.

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As a result the Nietzschean’s weren’t strong enough to take over after the war and all hope for a United Nietzschean Alliance after the war was lost.

The following few years saw the collapse of the Commonwealth leaving a void in the Galaxies political stability. Dylan Hunt, however is determined to restore it….

and while Dylan is around, the Commonwealth is still alive!

He’s not alone! His new crew are almost as committed to the restoration of the Commonwealth as he is. His closest ally is the Andromeda with a fanatically loyal computer and whopping arsenal of weapons, devices and offensive gadgets at his command. You see, the biggest problem caused by the collapse of the Commonwealth was that there was no more common wealth.

Decline of the Empire resulted in a stagnation of new technological development and a gradual slide in terms of scientific advance. Andromeda Ascendant is now the most advanced spaceship in the Galaxy and one of the shining examples of how a Galactic Systems Commonwealth can be beneficial to member worlds.

It was a representative monarchy with Vedran Empress Sucharitkul XII as queen and head of state (a sort of CEO). There are three other very powerful Executive Officers who were elected from the member worlds and allowed to serve a maximum of two 10 year terms.

There were many … MANY bureaucratic offices and departments (mainly brought about by the influence of the Perseids) but most of the time, the actual government of each Commonwealth Member World was left to the indigenous population. This meant that there were wildly differing political systems and a wealth of cultural and, in many cases opposing, political values. Provided each member world adhered to the Commonwealth Charter and Universal Declaration of Sentient Rights, societies were free to choose whatever government they wanted.

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It is the Commonwealth that Dylan Hunt is now fighting to restore – rather like a politically motivated Buck Rogers.

The “Systems Commonwealth” Culture Review is © 2000 Tony Fawl.
Not for reproduction without the authors express permission

The names, characters and everything else associated with Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda TV series are the property of the Tribune Entertainment Company. All rights reserved.

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